Cummings and Engel Expand Investigation After WSJ Report that Flynn Promoted Nuclear Deal Inside the White House
Washington, D.C. (Sept. 15, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Eliot Engel, the Ranking Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, sent a letter expanding their requests for documents and interviews with former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s business colleagues in light of a new Wall Street Journal report that Flynn promoted—while inside the White House—a multi-billion dollar proposal he previously worked on to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East.
“If General Flynn was actively promoting this multi-billion nuclear project from inside the White House, he may have violated federal laws that protect against egregious conflicts of interests,” the Ranking Members wrote. “He also may have violated President Trump’s executive order, which required General Flynn to pledge that he would not, for a period of two years, ‘participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients.’ These potential violations are in addition to his potential criminal exposure for omitting his foreign travel and foreign government contacts from his 2016 security clearance reapplication, as we explained in our previous letter.”
Earlier this week, Cummings and Engel released multiple responses from Flynn’s business colleagues confirming that he traveled to the Middle East in 2015 to meet with foreign leaders promoting a joint project with Russia to build nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia—information that he omitted from his security clearance renewal application in 2016 and concealed from background check investigators who interviewed him during that process.
Their letter also raised serious new questions about whether Flynn secretly used his position inside the White House as National Security Advisor to continue working on the nuclear deal—a concern that seemed to be confirmed by the Wall Street Journal report yesterday.
“At the root of our concerns are the gravest questions of all—did General Flynn seek to change the course of our country’s national security to benefit the same private interests he previously promoted, whether by advising President Trump, interacting with foreign officials, or influencing other members of the Trump Administration? And if so, did he do so covertly or with President Trump’s knowledge and consent?” Cummings and Engel wrote.
The Ranking Members expanded their earlier document request to now include all communications with any Trump Administration officials or advisers, including Gary Cohn, President Trump’s top economic adviser, and Thomas Barrack Jr., “an adviser and real estate billionaire who helped plan the administration’s May trip to Saudi Arabia,” according to the Journal’s report.
Click here to read today’s letter.